Every Saturday, my wife comes home from the grocery store carrying bags full of fresh food. Living a few blocks from a produce-heavy grocer is a perk, and it’s allowed us to stock up on everything from cantaloupes and clementines to cactus and coconut. We do a decent job of eating what we buy, but there’s one thing we always seem to neglect: bell peppers. Every week, I open the grocery bags to find new red, yellow, and green peppers, and every week I open the crisper drawer to find unused red, yellow, and green peppers. Sacrificial produce, indeed.
Archive for the ‘Dustin’ Category
Forty dollars a day, plus lunch money? I’ve only been called for jury duty twice, but my pay was substantially less than that. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that they let us go early. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I wasn’t asked to serve on an actual jury. Or maybe it was a regional thing whereby the Cook County court system proved to be stingier than other court systems around the country. But whatever the case, my jury duty pay always amounted to less than the cost of a cab back to my house.
When my wife and I first met, eight years ago, we were both in college and (not surprisingly) living with our parents. We hit it off right away, but decided against moving in together. We both wanted to strike out on our own before embarking on a grand experiment in co-habitation. My wife moved from the suburbs to an apartment on the north side of Chicago, and I moved from my grandfather’s house on the northwest side to a lovely three-flat on the southwest side. It was important for us to know that we could make it on our own, at least for a year. Once we had that squared away, moving in together was the natural next step.
Who gets rid of their Christmas tree in December? People who never got into the Christmas spirit in the first place, that’s who. I’m happy to say that my tree (and my exterior lights) are still standing, and will continue to shine brightly into the new year. I agreed to take them down the first weekend of January, but even that feels wrong to me. If I had my druthers, I’d leave the Christmas tree up for another week…or another two weeks…or another month…or, what the heck, until the last of the snow melts.
If it hadn’t have been so…pink…I would have definitely asked for an Easy-Bake Oven as a child. Sure, I was an American Boy, and as an American Boy I liked Tonka Trucks, baseball mitts, and all manner of video games. But I also liked cookies, brownies, and all manner of cupcakes. I made due with Hostess products from time to time, but they were poor substitutes for my Grandmother’s baked wonders. If I had been able to replicate her chocolate chip cookies in my own miniature oven, it probably would have inspired me to become a baker. You see, I have an unusual fondness for dough. Had I been given an Easy-Bake Oven as a youngster, that fondness almost certainly would have become an obsession.
I woke up this morning to find jack-o’-lantern bags on my front lawn, a Christmas tree in my living room, and leftovers in my refrigerator. Then I remembered why Thanksgiving is the most hectic holiday of all. Not only is there lots of cooking (and eating, and dish-washing) to do, there’s also an ungodly amount of decorating to get through. Leftover Halloween decorations? Take ’em down quick. Boxed up Christmas decorations? Get ’em up quick. Still-standing pine trees? Chop ’em down quick. Those of us who refuse to let Christmas supersede Thanksgiving find ourselves in a constant state of hurry. It’s one reason why, when people ask what they can bring to Thanksgiving dinner, I always reply, “wine.”
As much as I hate to be a living, breathing stereotype, I am definitely one of those men who never shops for clothes. I bought a new T-shirt this summer, but the rest of my wardrobe is at least two years old. My closet is filled with dress shirts that were purchased in 2008 and my dresser is stuffed with old T-shirts, socks, jeans, and khakis from…2006? 2004? The 1990s? I like my old clothes, but I know I won’t be able to keep them indefinitely. Given the number of house projects I have going, some of them are bound to get ruined. Take this past weekend, for example, when I was forced to toss a pair of old shorts and a T-shirt after mucking them up with foundation sealant. Pretty soon, I’ll be out of clean clothes and will be forced to buy new ones. Either that, or paint the walls in my pajamas.